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Care for the caregiver

Published in Health Care Home, Home Health Services Author: Nola Varilek

Family, friends, partners and neighbors may all be caregivers. Caregivers of an aging adult or chronically ill adult or child expend a lot resources (emotional, physical and financial). It is important that caregivers also take care of themselves to avoid too much stress and burnout. Assess if the following tips may help you find balance in your day as a caregiver.

  • Exercise regularly. Eat healthy meals. Get the right amount of sleep.
  • Get routine health checkups and let your provider know you are a caregiver.
  • Tune into your own feelings and talk about them.
  • Create realistic goals and a caregiving plan.
  • Realize some things are uncontrollable.
  • Celebrate even the small successes.
  • Laugh — remember to include humor to lighten everyone’s stress.
  • Take time to just sit and visit with your loved one — to not always be “doing.”
  • Help your loved one discover his/her legacy.
  • Take regular breaks from caregiving to do something you enjoy.
  • Take advantage of respite from family or area services.
  • Understand symptoms of stress and burnout (withdrawal, general irritability, feeling blue or hopeless, changes in appetite or sleep, emotional or physical exhaustion).

You don’t have to do this job alone. It is important that you know when to seek help from professionals. CentraCare Health Home Care & Hospice supports caregivers and can offer guidance on other local services that might assist your loved one's care at home. To learn more, call us at 320-259-9375.